Ayesha Siddiqa is a Pakistani military scientist, political commentator and an author who serves as an research associate at the SOAS South Asia Institute. She previously served as the inaugural Pakistan Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center between 2004 and 2005.
Born in Lahore, Siddiqa studied at the Kinnaird College and went on to join the Civil Service of Pakistan. As a civil servant, Siddiqa served as the director of naval research with the Pakistan Navy making her the first civilian and a woman to work at that position in Pakistan's defence establishment. She also worked in military accounts and as deputy director Defense Services Audit. Siddiqa moved to London, where she received her doctorate from the King's College London in war studies. After leaving the civil service, she served as the senior research fellow at the Sandia National Laboratories and went on to teach at the University of Pennsylvania. Johns Hopkins University and the Quaid-e-Azam University. She also served as the Charles Wallace Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford in 2015.
She has written extensively on Pakistan military and her research has covered issues varying from Pakistan military's covert development on military technology, defensive game theory, nuclear deterrence, arms procurement, arms production to civil-military relations in Pakistan. After leaving the bureaucracy, she authored Pakistan's Arms Procurement and Military Buildup, 1979-99: In Search of a Policy, 2001, and later in 2007 published her critically acclaimed book Military Inc.: Inside Pakistan's Military Economy. She also regularly writes critical columns for English language newspapers, including Dawn, Daily Times, The Friday Times and Express Tribune.